Better Broadband?

I complained a while back about dropped connections using my new, faster broadband service.

Well things seemed to stabilise a little, but it wasn’t as rock-solid as I was used to. I just happened to be browsing the Pipex site tonight and stumbled on their connection setup page. What I did notice was that two of my settings weren’t as recommended. Contrary to my instinct for fixing things, once my broadband had been installed, I’d just left the connection details alone. These details will have been supplied (or guessed) when we originally had broadband installed in the house nearly 4 years ago.

Pipex suggested that I use “VC/MUX” or “VC-based” encapsulation; I was using “LLC”. Their other suggestion was an MTU of 1500, whereas mine was slightly low at 1400. Now I don’t fully understand the difference between the VC and LLC encapsulation (it’s something to do with how the IP packets are routed over ATM), and the MTU (Maximum Transmission Unit) relates to the largest single lump of data the router will send at once. I’ve no idea what the optimum values are, but I’m guessing Pipex have a better idea than me.

Hopefully, that will make things a bit more stable than I have managed in the past – currently sitting happy at 3456kbps (but bizarrely with a downstream margin of 0dB). I’ll wait and see what it settles at, and whether things get any worse or better. If I had called Pipex, that’s probably the first thing they would have suggested – read the instructions!